Water-Related News

Mote's tarpon tagging kicks off for 2017 in Charlotte Harbor

A Mote Marine Laboratory scientist worked with Charlotte Harbor anglers to tag their first tarpon of 2017 during May 16 in Charlotte Harbor — an early step toward understanding what these popular sport fish do as they mature.

Dr. James Locascio, a staff scientist at Mote, is studying older juvenile/sub-adult tarpon, about 3-5 years old, in Charlotte Harbor by fitting them with acoustic tags. These tags are designed to last for 10 years, and every 95 seconds they transmit a signal that is detected when the tarpon swims by underwater receivers placed by researchers.

Tarpon of this age are believed to be local to Charlotte Harbor, but it’s not clear where, when and how they join the adult population and what percentage of these migrate or remain as residents in the harbor. Understanding their life history can support wildlife management practices designed to keep tarpon populations thriving and preserve a Florida tradition of exciting catch-and-release fishing.